Monday, February 8, 2010

Bitter Angels (ACW Grand Armée) playtest

I've applied to become a playtester for "Bitter Angels", an attempt to adapt the Napoleonic grand-tactical miniatures rules Grand Armée (GA) to the American Civil War. I've never played GA, but I have played quite a bit of Volley & Bayonet (V&B), an earlier set of grand-tactical black powder rules. Some people that I've gamed with have complained that V&B needs a command and control system, which GA provides. So, it seems reasonable to check out how Bitter Angels works with big ACW battles.

GA uses the same basing as V&B: 1" = 100 yards, and bases are infantry and cavalry brigades each 3" square. V&B was designed so that you can play with figures as large as 54mm (though you have problems fitting 54mm artillery on the 3"x1.5" artillery bases). I prefer to game with smaller scale figures, either 6mm or even 2mm. Many people who play V&B with smaller scale figures opt to increase the ground scale and thus shrink the size of stands and the overall table size. Those gaming with 15mm figures often use 2/3 scale bases (1" = 150 yds.), while those who game with 6mm or 2mm figures opt to use 1/2 scale (1" = 200 yds.) or even centimeter scale (substitute centimeters for inches, so that bases are 3cm square, which gives a ground scale of 1" = 250 yds). Keith McNelly in NZ hosts the V&B web site, and use 1/2 scale 6mm figures.

Typical V&B battles use 6'x8' tables. With half-scale figures, you can run Gettysburg on 3'x4' tables; with centimeter scale, the table becomes 72cm x 96cm or just over 2'x3'.

I've had a long stalled project to re-work my 6mm Heroics and Ros ACW figures. What I've decided to do is to rebase my 6mm figures onto more typical 1" or 3/4" stands and use 2mm figures based in centimeter scale for V&B and similarly based rules. That will allow me to play a variety of ACW games on a variety of scales.

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